The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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March 27, 2014

Vary well: Cabaret Le Ruse mixes it up for April Fool's variety show

Cabaret Le Ruse mixes it up for April Fool's variety show

For Corban Noah, the most challenging aspect of participating in Cabaret Le Ruse's latest variety show isn't donning yellow underwear and an Elvis wig for another chapter in the Captain Gravitone saga.

Neither is it playing the role of a hair-brained detective in a diamond-heist skit or feigning an intentionally bad accent in another about bad customer service.

Though playing six different roles is no small assignment in the Cabaret's four-show tour of its April Fool's Day-themed variety show "Fool Me Once," Noah said one challenge in particular stands out.

In North Mankato playwright Greg Abbott's short play "Hair Band," Noah plays the supposed lead guitarist for the once-legendary hair band The Reptiles. When a rabid fan attends a tribute band festival, she is certain she's found the real thing.

To prepare for the part, Noah honed a Cockney accent by watching YouTube videos. Though he said he's happy with his progress, he added that delivering the lines on stage will be a different matter.

"Learning a rant in a different accent and then pulling it off fluently," he said, "is definitely a little challenging."

With the debut of "Fool Me Once" on Friday, Cabaret Le Ruse will be holding its third-ever production.

The first was a collaboration with local four-piece folk rockers String Theory on "Gravitone, the Musical." Based on String Theory's 2013 album, "What's the Matter with Captain Gravitone?," the musical introduced audiences to an idealistic, but angst-ridden superhero who battles himself as often as his various nemeses.

Gravitone showed up again during Cabaret's Christmas-themed production in December and this edition includes yet another chapter in the superhero's existential saga.

Among the variety show's trio of 10-minute plays is "Gravitone v. Gravitone," in which three individuals claiming to be Gravitone arrive to save the planet, leaving onlookers to decipher which is the real hero.

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